Brassicas or Cruciferous are very widely cultivated. They are suitable for year-round consumption. The root system of brassicas, especially tuberous, leafy and Brussels sprouts. Their seeds are small. ins 4-6 years. Once sown, they start to sprout after 3-6 days. The minimum temperature for germination of the seeds is between 2 and 3 °C. At high temperatures and when the soil is deficient in moisture, coppice plants do not grow well: they form small, soft clumps.
In addition, the soil must be heavier and more permeable to water. The most suitable brassica rootstocks are legumes, cucumbers, onions, root vegetables and fruit vegetables.
Although the term cruciferous comes from the pattern evident on flower buds, we shall refer to cruciferous vegetables as cabbage-family vegetables. Cauliflower, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, turnip, kale, and radish are some of the other members of the cabbage family.
This cabbage species belongs to three subspecies: white cabbage, red cabbage and savoy cabbage. In terms of earliness, the varieties are divided into early, medium early, medium late and late.
The varieties of white cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. capitata f. alba L.) are the most numerous. There are particularly early varieties that can be grown outdoors under shelters or in greenhouses. They grow 70 days after planting. Interesting pointed cabbages, which produce small heads weighing 1-1,2 kg with a sweet and savory taste. The leaves are soft, thin, the stem short and the leaf veins thin. Particularly suitable for delicious salads and vegetable stews.
Red cabbage (Br. oleracea L. capitata f. rubra L.) differs from white cabbage in the color of its leaves, which are a reddish dark purple. Some varieties of red cabbage are suitable for fresh consumption and last well through the winter, while others are suitable for canning and pickling because of the high sugar content of their leaves.
The leaves of savoy cabbage (Br. oleracea L. var. sabauda L.) are wrinkled, beautifully curled, slimy and soft. Their varieties come in various shades of green. Can be stored for up to 4 months. Savoy cabbages are more resistant to temperature changes and moisture deficiency than white cabbages. The growing period is 95-130 (150) days. The cabbages are fluffy, rounded, weighing up to 1-1,6 (3) kg, and have an excellent flavor. Used for fresh salads, pie fillings, pigeon pies, but not for souring.
Kale (Br. oleracea L. convar. acephala (DC.) Alef. var. sabellica L.) is a non-adhesive vegetable that grows until frost. Cabbages used for food are divided into ‘kale’ and ‘collard’ types.
The ‘kale’ type is more widely grown and consumed as it is very resistant to frost (down to -15 °C). These cabbages differ from other cabbages in that the leaves are high in dry matter (17,3 % on average), protein (3,86 %), minerals (1,57 %), carotene, sugar and vitamins. The growing period of dwarf (up to 40 cm) and medium height (up to 65 cm) cabbages is about 4 months, and that of taller varieties (above 70 cm) is about 5 months. It is best harvested after frost when the bitter spice in the leaves disappears. Unlike other cabbages, the edible leaves of this cabbage come in various shades of green or purple. They can be used for salads, garnishes, cooking, stewing or freezing.
The Chinese subspecies of the common brassica is the Chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage, Bok Choy (Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis). It is a valuable source of potassium and trace elements, lowers blood pressure and is suitable as a dietary food.
They are planted twice: in spring and early autumn. They grow in 40-50 days. They grow faster in spring but may overgrow, so do not delay harvesting. This is important, especially in early summer. Chinese cabbage can flower during the heat of the summer with long daylight hours. For the autumn harvest, seedlings are planted in early September. The most favorable growing temperature is about 10 °C. Harvesting is selective. They grow well in soils where cauliflower grows well.
Suitable for salads, frying with butter and green smoothies (with pears and bananas).
The Peking cabbage (Br. pekinensis L.) is rich in minerals, organic compounds and even protein. On average, their dry matter contains 3,87 % nitrogen, 067 % phosphorus, 4,40 % potassium, 0,82 % calcium and 0,20 % magnesium. It is not a sticky plant: it germinates quickly, can be harvested several times during the season and keeps well.
The growing season lasts 50-80 days. The last planting takes place at the end of July.
It is mainly used to make salads and is therefore sometimes referred to as salad cabbage. They are eaten in stews and soups.
The main asset of Brussels sprouts (Br. oleracea var. gemmifera) is potassium. The leaves are spirally arranged on long petioles around the stem, with round, hard tubers growing in the axils of the petioles. 30-60 or more clumps form on a single plant. The growing season lasts 130-150 days and is harvested in autumn. It is best to choose varieties with a growing period of up to 140 days.
These vegetables are similar in taste and nutrient composition to white cabbage. However, Brussels sprouts are only tasty when cooked and only acquire their special flavor when frozen. However, varieties have already been developed which can be used fresh and processed.
Cauliflower (Br. oleracea var. botrytis. L.) has twice the vitamin C content of white cabbage. These vegetables are much lower in fiber and therefore more digestible. The inflorescences are relatively rich in protein, fat, non-azotic extractives, sugar, vitamins B1, B2, carotene, potassium, calcium, iron and, rarely found in vegetables, the active substance choline. Cauliflowers come in a variety of colors: white, yellow, cream, green, purple, the usual dome shape and the beautiful conical minaret shape.
The growing season lasts 65-75 (95) days.
Some varieties of cauliflower are suitable for salads, while others are multi-purpose, suitable for salads, processing and freezing. According to gourmets, purple cabbages are the most delicious, while the creamy, yellowish and slightly greenish minaret-shaped cabbages are milder in flavor than the white cabbages.
Broccoli (Br. olearacea L. convar. botrytis var. italica Plenck.) is a very valuable vegetable related to cauliflower. It is rich in vitamins A, B, calcium and riboflavin, and the stalks are rich in selenium, which strengthens the body’s defenses. The edible part of the plant is the inflorescence and the florets that grow on it. The most valuable flowers are those that do not open. The growing season lasts 65-90 days. If the inflorescence is not cut off in time, the broccoli sprouts start to flower.
Most varieties are multi-purpose – the florets can be eaten fresh, processed and frozen.
Kale (Br. oleracea var. gongylodes L.) is rich in vitamin C. It can be planted several times in the soil. Early varieties grown in spring can be planted with or without shelter against vegetables harvested in autumn. Harvesting takes place when the tubers of the early varieties are 6-8 cm in diameter and those of the late varieties are 8-10 cm in diameter. The growing season lasts 50-65 days. The most valuable turnip cabbages are those which have not yet fully matured.
The taste of turnip cabbage is similar to that of white cabbage but much milder and sweeter. The milder tasting cabbages have white-greenish tubers and the more savory, spicy ones have purple tubers.